On February 22, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a solicitation seeking vendors to provide a Cigar Smoking Machine with Carbon Monoxide (CO) Analyzer. It appears the FDA is preparing to implement some version of their proposed rules to oversee the cigar industry and to take away more of our cigar smoking rights.
The solicitation was released by the FDA’s Southeast Regional Laboratory (SRL) in Atlanta, Georgia, and seeks a “10 port, cigar linear smoking machine with attachments for impingers and carbon monoxide detection for the purpose of developing and transferring methods in SRL to support regulatory work for the Center for Tobacco Products. The unit is used to simulate human cigar smoking under a variety of conditions and to collect smoke residues for further regulatory chemical analysis.”
The FDA is specifically requesting a Cigar Linear Smoking Machine, model SM410-CV, made by Cerulean. According to the Cerulean website, the SM410-C “is a manually operated 10 port linear smoking machine designed specifically for smoking cigars. . . The SM410-CV consists of 10-mainstream smoking ports with puff engines controlled such that the puff duration, volumes and interval are all variable and user controlled. Each cigar to be smoked is fitted to a dedicated cigar holder dependent upon diameter and the machine is supplied with a wide range of holders. The lighter bar is adjustable allowing a wide range of cigars to be smoked from small cigarillos to long ‘Cuban’ styles. The intuitive computer controlled user-interface gives a wide degree of freedom of customization of smoking regimes using the precision aluminium bore stepper controlled smoking engines. Multiple languages are supported through the user-interface and an RS232 and Ethernet port are supplied ready for connection to remote information systems such as a LIMS. The special wide range CO analyzer option is specifically selected to meet the higher CO values that may be present during cigar smoking so CO generated during smoking can be collected in bags for analysis.” Here’s a picture of the SM410-CV:
The solicitation gives very few clues as to what the FDA regulations will be, however, one could extrapolate that the FDA intends to regulate cigar manufacturing based on CO results and smoke residue.